3 Haute Diamond Rings That Embody Radical Simplicity



A beautifully crafted solitaire diamond ring is the opposite of trendy. But that doesn’t mean it can’t be distinctive or of the moment. In fact, we’re besotted with the styles featured below precisely because they take what is, at heart, a traditional concept and imbue it with something extra that elevates it above its classic counterparts, be it an unexpectedly curled prong, a platform of ebony, or a setting with a literal twist.

Rebel Rose Ring By Thelma West

Thelma West is a London-based private jeweler with an impressive background in the diamond trade. Born in Nigeria, she moved to Antwerp, Belgium, when she was 17 to train at Hoge Raad voor Diamant (HRD). After being mentored by a local diamond dealer, she founded a wholesale company, Yeraua Diamonds; a gemological lab, IGR London; and, in 2012, her eponymous jewelry atelier, Thelma West Diamonds, where she specializes in important diamonds in elegant, slightly subversive settings, like the 5 ct. pear-shape diamond in the Rebel Rose ring featured above.

Sotheby’s Diamonds x Nicholas Lieou Reishi Disk Ring

Nicholas Lieou for Sotheby's Reishi disk diamond ring
Reishi Disk ring in platinum with 5.01 ct. t.w. emerald-cut diamond and ebony, price on request; Sotheby’s Diamonds

Nicholas Lieou is something of a jewelry chameleon. The Hong Kong–based private jeweler got his start in London, where he trained at Central Saint Martins and the Royal College of Art before interning with British jeweler Shaun Leane. He segued into fashion jewelry, then designer jewelry, then high jewelry, then back to fashion in stints with some of the best names in the business, including the Danish jeweler Georg Jensen, Louis Vuitton, and Alexis Bittar.

Lieou even did a spell at Tiffany & Co., during which design director Francesca Amfitheatrof encouraged him to unleash his creativity. “I had no financial restraints,” he says. “It was the first time I was ever exposed to the grand theater of high jewelry.”

In 2018, Lieou left Tiffany and returned to Hong Kong to focus on his own collection, in which he celebrates simple organic forms using deco-inspired monochromatic palettes. The beauty of his aesthetic is on full display in the 10-piece range he created for Sotheby’s Diamonds last month, which includes this G VS1 emerald-cut diamond masterfully set in ebony. (And while the pavé diamonds on the girdle and prongs mean this ring isn’t technically a solitaire, we’re not going to quibble over a few extra points of sparkle!)

Chopard Ice Cube Capsule Ring By Marion Cotillard

Chopard Ice Cube capsule diamond ring
Ring in Fairmined-certified ethical 18k yellow gold with a 5.73 ct. t.w. princess-cut diamond, price on request; Chopard

Chopard just unveiled an ethically sourced capsule collection of seven diamond jewels designed by Oscar-winning actress Marion Cotillard—and this 5.73 ct. princess-cut diamond floating between two 18k gold rings steals the show. Intended to showcase the jeweler’s 7-year-old “Journey to Sustainable Luxury” campaign, the range is crafted from Fairmined gold and diamonds from RJC-certified suppliers. Cotillard’s asymmetrical layout lends the 1980s-esque design a wonderfully contemporary twist.

Top: Rebel Rose ring in 18k rose gold with 5 ct. pear-shape diamond, price on request; Thelma West

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JCK Magazine Editor